There is foliage on fire in Houston. I steered my car on a long road lined with trees whose leaves were flame-colored - crimson, gold, and ocher - reaching for the sun, another sphere of fire. Glorious! Despite all of Houston's concrete, we do have trees, and they do fluctuate in color. Not as widespread as my memories of Tennessee or North Carolina leaves, but Texan leaves suffice my need for Autumn.
I drove slowly within the boring speed limit, soaking in sunshine and Johnny Cash singing Nine Inch Nails and Gillian Welch covering Radiohead. The aroma of Spiced Pumpkin swirled around my car in dire need of a vacuum. And so inpsiration and nostalgia hover above in the most mundane circumstances. Our current little family is quite content in our humble abode. We are preparing our home for visiting family on Christmas Adam (my Dad's nickname for the day before Christmas Eve). My cleaning-out frenzy continues, and in doing so, I discovered a piece of historical family nostalgia - a purple "Christmas at Our House" (in pink letters) journal, Christmas tree on the cover, given to my Mom by family friends for Christmas 1980. There is a sole entry, reminding me of our old Christmas traditions: the tree up right after Thanksgiving, my brother and I helped with decorations, my Mom pulled out Christmas books and we read the Christmas Story often (Luke 2:1-14). And the gum drop tree adorned with red (cinnamon) and green (mint) gum drops.
Further mulling recalled my Dad, Mom, brother, and me singing 'round the lit Christmas tree in the dark. The glittering lights seemed to be stars suctioned out of the night sky into our living room. Mom's dulcet harmony, Dad leading our small choir on his guitar. My brother and I vied for Mom's lap in the rocking chair. My brother's favorite Christmas song was "Silent Night." Try as I might, I cannot recall my past favorite, but this month I've been known to hum or sing "O Holy Night" and "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" or constantly repeat a Derek Webb-Sandra McCracken duet of "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus." I prefer their folksy melody to Stuttgart's.
John put up our Christmas tree, but its limbs are bare except for an icon of Jesus at the top. We will decorate the tree on Christmas Eve with white lights, cobalt blue bulbs, and an electic assortment of ornaments from my parents over the years. Our families will be in town on Christmas Eve and I'm thinking we should turn off the lights and admire our tree, listen to music or convince Dad to strum my guitar. Perhaps I can find a gum drop tree this week.
Posted by jenni at 3:00 PM